Thursday, January 23, 2014

REVIEW: 'Reign' Forces Mary and Bash Back to the Castle and Fighting for Their Lives in 'For King and Country'

The CW's Reign - Episode 1.09 For King and Country

Mary and Bash are captured and forced to return to the castle. Francis learns of the prophecy, but his determination to wed Mary changes everything: in love in politics, tearing the bond of brothers apart, and hardening Catherine's resolve to destroy Mary at any cost.

The last episode of Reign did such a good job of realistically and excitedly getting Mary and Bash to run away from the castle together. The main love triangle has been pretty one-sided so far - Bash simply doesn't exist as a multi-faceted character at this point. And yet, we all knew that going into the return episode, the show would have to create some lame way to get those two characters back to the castle - where all the action of the series has happened so far. Would things have been nice if Mary and Bash got to rummage throughout the forest for an entire episode before getting captured by the King's men? Probably. It would have been interesting to see that duo imagine a life trying to return to Scotland that ultimately would have been for not.

But "For King and Country" does return Mary and Bash to the castle - and they find a way to make it too exciting and interesting. The political back-and-forth amongst the characters has been the strongest quality of Reign up to this point. So, it's intriguing to see Mary and Catherine try to find a new option to protect both Bash and Francis. The end result of trying to legitimize Bash is a good solution for now - even though everything about this plan is sure to backfire on all involved in a couple episode's time.

Some more thoughts:
  • "For King and Country" was directed by Helen Shaver with the story by Alan McCullough and teleplay by Alan McCullough & Edgar Lyall.
  • There's also a B-story involving Nostradamus and Clarissa. It's all very weird and not that interesting. She stabs him and escapes. Woo!
  • The ladies-in-waiting are still there - and still not really doing anything.
  • Henry and Catherine's marriage has been one of the more interesting relationships on the show. And now, he's imprisoning her which is a great testament to how must scheming she does.
  • Francis learns of Nostradamus' vision of his death which is very good development. Keeping that secret from important characters makes them seem less important. Letting Francis in on it gives him a drive and intrigue.